Tuesday, 15 February, 2022

All eyes on Ukraine; Venice’s Carnevale returns; Rams and Snoop Dogg win Super Bowl; and blockbusters to watch for in 2022.



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The eyes of the world will be on the Eastern European country of Ukraine today as the tensions elevate there between it and its close neighbour, Russia.

Flights into the Ukraine capital Kyiv have been cancelled, foreign travellers have been urged to get out of the country and embassies have evacuated staff after the United States government warned that an invasion could happen as soon as tomorrow. 

Yesterday, Russia was saying it had no intention of invading Ukraine. For its part, Ukraine has asked Russia to please explain why then it has chosen to assemble more than 100,000 troops along the border the two countries share.  

Why is any of this of interest to you? Because if Russia invades Ukraine, countries like the United States, Britain and France have all said they will not stand by and let it happen. And Australia is a military ally – or friend – of all of those countries.

The United States has already put 8,500 troops on standby and is sending extra soldiers to countries near Ukraine. 

As we explained last week: Ukraine was once a part of the Soviet Union – a collection of countries that was ruled over by Russia. And since the Soviet Union broke up – and Ukraine has recently become close to other countries in Europe, Russia is not happy. 

Fingers crossed world leaders can continue to talk to one another and work out a solution.

And if you’re curious about the people and culture behind the news… aren’t we all?… we got Amanda working overtime this weekend to bring you a brand spanking new episode of Squiz the World on .. you guess it .. Ukraine. The episode drops today. Squiz The World is a new segment available to classrooms that subscribe to the Squiz Kids for Schools suite of daily resources, or parents who have signed up to our Squiz Kids Subscriber specials. To find out more,  see the links to both in today’s episode notes. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops … and today we’ve landed in Venice, Italy —and we’re joined by thousands of other tourists, who are here in this city of canals to celebrate the first Venice Carnevale since the pandemic. What’s Carnevale, you ask? It’s a two-week-long party that was first held in February 1162. Nowadays, Carnevale is most famous for the elaborate costumes and masks that people wear. Each year, a panel of international fashion designers judge “la maschera più bella”  or the most beautiful mask. Why masks? Well, back in the old days, people were expected to dress and socialise a certain way depending on their job, and how much money they had. But during Carnevale, you were allowed to dress and party however you liked—and you wore a mask to conceal your identity. I’ve put a link in your episode notes to see some maschere bellas for yourselves… with sincere apologies to our Italian listeners for my mangling of your beautiful language.



In the end, it was the Los Angeles Rams who powered their way to victory at yesterday’s Super Bowl, beating the Cincinnati Bengals by 23 points to 20.

Hey … slow down there cowboy … what’s the Super Bowl? It’s only the grand final of the NFL – which is the national football league in the United States. We’re talking gridiron – and we’re talking THE most watched sporting event in America. It’s huge.

So huge that the half-time entertainment is an event in and of itself. And this year, the hip-hop likes of Eminem, Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamarr and Mary J Blige took to the stage and wowed the audience with a stadium performance for the ages. It was epic.

The Rams staged a stunning comeback from behind to snatch victory at the last minute in a thrilling game of football. It’s been 22 years since the Rams won a Super Bowl .. so yes, the celebrations in Los Angeles were  expected to go loooooong into the American night.



It wasn’t just the football and half-time entertainment that kept fans on the edge of their seats during yesterday’s Super Bowl .. the ads during the TV broadcast – with an audience of over 100 million people – are almost as popular as the football itself.

And this year didn’t disappoint, with a bunch of trailers screened for cool blockbuster movies and upcoming TV shows. So what was advertised – and what are the big TV and movie studios in Hollywood getting ready to serve up in the months to come? 

How about Dr Strange In The Multiverse of Madness? Or the new Jurassic Park movie – Dominion? Or the Lord of The Rings prequel TV series? Or Sonic The Hedghog 2 …. I am not making this up people. Or, my personal favourite, Enola Holmes 2 … 

Oh yes .. strap yourselves in … there’s an entertainment-palooza on the near horizon. Game on. 




This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …

  1. What’s the name of the Italian city, famous for its canals, where Carnavale is back?
  2. Which team won the 2022 Super Bowl?
  3. Which Marvel character, renowned for his spells, has a new movie coming out this year subtitled The Multiverse of Madness?




It’s February 15 … today marks the end of Chinese New Year celebrations with a glorious tradition called the Festival of Lanterns … and it’s a warm welcome back to classroom learning for our Squiz Kids friends in South Australia .. 

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today …

Lara from Mansfield, Ivy-Rose from Allambie Heights, Paolo from Drummoyne, Marnie from Quirindi and Callum from Wollongong.

Belated birthday shout outs go to Lincoln, Leah, Beau and Ryan all from Nelson Park Primary School. 

Classroom shoutouts today go to … Mrs Hutts year 5 legends at Exeter Public School (one of our Squiz Kids for Schools members), Room 4 and Miss Sporn and class B13 and Mr Webster – both from Craigburn Primary School. And it’s a special shout out to Emilia from Cannon Hill State School who is off to Germany for the rest of Term 1 – safe journey Emilia!


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Venice
  2. Los Angeles Rams
  3. Dr Strange